Hospital for Women and Children
9 and 32 Lupus Street, Belgravia, SW1V 3AT
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1884 - ? 1914

General and maternity
In 1866 the Hospital for Diseases Peculiar to Women and Children opened at Nos. 3 and 4 Vincent Square as a charitable venture.  

In the following year, four of the consulting clinicians objected to the Hospital's Committee that one of their number - Dr Gideon de Gorrequer Griffith - had published a circular, one part of which was dedicated to a description of the benefits and working of the charity and the other part to a list of his charges for attendance on the poor and on the rich.  They deemed this form of advertising, mixing up the prospectus of a public charity with private cash transactions, detrimental to the dignity of their profession and damaging to the charity.  The Committee was unmoved and the four clinicians resigned on 23rd July 1867.

Undaunted, Dr de Gorrequer Griffith remained on the staff and, in 1880, founded the Zenana Medical Mission Home and Training School for Ladies at No. 71 Vincent Square.  Its purpose was to train Christian women for medical and missionary work in the zenanas (women's quarters) of the east.

The institution, which was non-denominational, did not send out missionaries itself, but received many applications for the services of its pupils.  By 1882 some 18 students had been despatched to various parts of the world.  Not only did they provide medical care, but also ministered to the spiritual needs of women in countries such as India, China and Lebanon, who would otherwise be unaccessible to missionary agencies.

In 1884 the Hospital for Women and Children opened at No. 9 Lupus Street.  It was administered by the Zenana Medical Mission Home, which had moved to No. 58 St George's Road (later renamed St George's Drive).

The Hospital dealt with medical and surgical patients, and also maternity cases (both as in-patients and as domestic visits).  Students were received from the age of 18 years and usually attended for two years at a charge of 50 guineas (£52.50) per annum.  As well as being given practical work in midwifery, gynaecology, dispensing, nursing and vaccination, they attended lectures on elementary anatomy and physiology.  The lectures and examiners gave their services free of charge.

By 1888 the Zenana Medical Mission Home had been renamed the Zenana Medical School and Home and, by 1889, the Zenana Medical College - possibly to instill the institution with a more professional gravitas.  Those who passed examinations in medicine, surgery and midwifery received the College Certificate.  If some wished to take only the midwifery course, they could gain the Diploma of the Obstetric Society.  They could also take courses in dispensing and practical pharmacy.

In 1893 private patients were also admitted to the Hospital as a weekly charge of 1 guinea (£1.05).

By 1895 an Out-Patients Department had been established at No. 32 Lupus Street, while No. 9 was used for in-patients.

By 1899 some 150 ladies had been trained at the College and were engaged in medical mission work in Africa, India, Burma, China, Ceylon, Syria and Palestine.  As well as a knowledge of medicine, surgery and midwifery, they had undergone instruction in diseases of women and children, eye and skin diseases, tropical diseases and pharmacy.

No. 32 Lupus Street closed around 1910.

The Hospital at No. 9 Lupus Street seems to have closed before the beginning of WW1 in 1914.

Present status (December 2015)

No. 9 Lupus Street was demolished and the Pimlico School built on its site.  The School has been rebuilt and the site is now part of the playground of the Pimlico Primary School, which opened in September 2013.

No. 32 Lupus Street has been converted into an apartment block.

No. 58 St George's Drive (previously St George's Road) is Grade II listed.

Lupus Street, built in 1842, is named after Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, an ancestor of the Duke of Westminster.

Hospital for Women and Children
The site of No. 9 Lupus Street is now part of the playground of Pimlico Primary.

Hospital for Women and Children
No. 32 Lupus Street was nearby, on the opposite side of the road to No. 9.

Hospital for Women and Children Hospital for Women and Children
No. 58 St George's Drive
(left), home of the Zenana Medical College, has its entrance in Denbigh Place (right).
References (Accessed 13th December 2015)

(Author unstated) 1889 The Missionary Year-Book for 1889.  London, Religious Tract Society, 2, 200-201.

Greenhalgh R, Fergusson W, Smith H, Eastlake HE 1867 A Special Hospital (letter).  British Medical Journal 2 (343), 69.

Janes E (ed) 1900 The Englishwoman's Year Book.  London, Adam & Charles Black, 348, 382.

Reinarz J, Wynter R (eds) 2015 Complaints, Controversies and Grievances in Medicine. Abingdon, Routledge.

Routh CHF 1894 Medical missionaries.  British Medical Journal 1 (1724), 103-104.


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